Sporty's SP-400 Handheld NAV/COM Aviation Radio

Deal of the Day!
FREE Radio Holster
FIVE Year Warranty!

Regular Price: $399.00

Special Price $329.00

Regular Price: $399.00

Special Price $329.00

Availability: In stock

Product ID: 7758A

Deal of the Day!

Free Radio Holster with Purchase

Purchase Sporty's SP-400 and receive a FREE Radio Holster ($13.95 value)

Note: Radio Holster will not be added to your cart or invoice, it will automatically ship at no charge with your order.



Upgraded screen - better contrast and adjustable backlight for improved sunlight readability. 

The award-winning SP-400 is simply the most powerful portable radio you can buy—like having a comp...

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Deal of the Day!

Free Radio Holster with Purchase
Purchase Sporty's SP-400 and receive a FREE Radio Holster ($13.95 value)
Note: Radio Holster will not be added to your cart or invoice, it will automatically ship at no charge with your order.


Upgraded screen - better contrast and adjustable backlight for improved sunlight readability. 

The award-winning SP-400 is simply the most powerful portable radio you can buy—like having a complete standby radio stack in your flight bag. The all-in-one radio makes a reliable backup for emergency use, but it’s also perfect for listening to ATIS, getting clearances before engine start or just monitoring local traffic.

But a great radio is worthless if it’s hard to use. That’s why our staff of pilots, flight instructors and aircraft owners spent so much time making the SP-400 intuitive and easy to use. It has all the features you need, but none that you don’t. There are no confusing menus, no memory bands and no complicated squelch buttons—just turn it on and type in a frequency. After all, an emergency is no time to look for an instruction manual.

Includes alkaline battery pack, antenna, wrist strap and instruction manual. Measures 5 1/2”h x 2 1/4”w x 1 5/8”d. Five year warranty.

Why the SP-400 is the pilot-friendly radio:

  • Oversized, high-resolution screen—twice as large as most other radios
  • Enhanced screen backlight with adjustable contrast for better sunlight readability
  • Large, soft keypad is easy to use, even in turbulence
  • No menus or memory banks—just type in the frequency
  • One-handed operation for fast emergency access
  • Unmatched battery life, powered by easy-to-find AAs
  • Quick-change battery pack—switch in just 3 seconds!
  • Backlit screen and keypad
  • Dedicated squelch and volume knobs for precise adjustment

COM

Sp-400 NAV
  • Last frequency flip flop makes it easy to switch back and forth 
  • Visual memory recall shows five memory channels per screen (store 20 total) 
  • Receives on 8.33KHz frequencies but does not transmit on those frequencies

NAV

  • Full ILS display—the only portable radio with this feature! 
  • VOR with large CDI display and automatic bearing-to-station readout 

Weather

SP-400 Weather
  • NOAA weather radio receiver built in
  • Nationwide coverage with pre-programmed stations

Emergency

  • Dedicated 121.5 button for instant emergency communications
  • Sidetone—hear yourself talk when using a headset
 

Why we recommend AA batteries

You'll notice the SP-400 comes standard with a AA battery pack - not a rechargeable lithium-ion or NiMH pack. We believe this is the right answer for almost all pilots. While a rechargeable battery is great for a smartphone you use every day, it is less suitable for a backup radio that may languish in a flight bag for weeks at a time. In an emergency, you have to know your radio will turn on, and forgetting to charge your lithium battery is a common mistake. The standard SP-400 battery pack holds 8 AA batteries (two more than most other radios). That sounds minor, but it leads to a big improvement in battery life. We often get over 40 hours of use from an SP-400 battery pack, when most of the time is spent receiving and not transmitting. 

Of course we offer a rechargeable battery pack for the SP-400 if you so desire. This is a good option for pilots who fly more frequently or for FBO use. Whichever option you choose, we believe you'll get great performance and long battery life from Sporty's radio.

 

Aviation Consumer's "Gear of the Year!"

  • "...better than some panel-mounted gear."
  • "Sporty's SP-400 Shines. Its performance is clearly exceptional."
  • "You can easily pick this unit up and use all of its features without touching the manual."
  • "...it's a solid bargain."

Additional Resources

Click Here for Instruction Manual

Click here to view The Aviation Consumers "Portable VHF Radios: Sporty's SP-400 Shines" Article

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh News review

What's the range of portable aviation radios? We went flying to find out. Click here to read the article

Hal Shevers

Founder/Chairman—Sporty’s Pilot Shop

Since our very first product was an aviation radio, I’m partial to our SP-400 Hand-held NAV/COM. It’s an amazingly powerful radio, and one I never could have dreamed of in 1961.

Eric Carnahan

Ask a Pilot Expert—Customer Service

Have questions?

We can help!

Our expert pilots are available to answer your questions.

Ask our experts: AskAPilot@sportys.com

Reviews
4.1 / 5.0
208 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
95
68
26
14
5
Durability
4.0 / 5
Reliability
4.2 / 5
Performance
4.0 / 5
Ease Of Use
4.2 / 5
Value
4.0 / 5
Would You Recommend?
Yes (37)
No (7)
Durability
5 / 5
Reliability
5 / 5
Performance
1 / 5
Ease Of Use
1 / 5
Value
1 / 5
Would You Recommend?
No
A useless 50% only Radio (not transmitting 8KHZ frequency)
Our airpot got a new frequency: 129.230 (8KHZ step).
When I dialed in this comm frequency I was able to receive the transmissions of the tower but I could not transmit anything to them. I only got a short 3 beep reply that tells me NO.
I sent a couple of emails to SPORTY'S to get some help in this case. But I never got an answer. It really is a poor support. So I been buying a YEASU two way radio that works perfect.
Finally I now quit buying SPORTY'S devices.
Gerhard F. Gentele
Mainhardt - Germany
Maybe I now get an answer to:
office@gentec.net
November 10, 2018
Response from Sporty's Pilot Shop
Thank you for the review. The primary market for the SP-400 is the American market. The American FCC regulates frequency spacing capabilities, and 25 kHZ spacing is required. While the SP-400 can receive on 8.33 spacing, it can not transmit on 8.33 due to these FCC regulations. We hope that the regulation will change in the future.
November 13, 2018
Doug R
Durability
2 / 5
Reliability
3 / 5
Performance
1 / 5
Ease Of Use
2 / 5
Value
1 / 5
Would You Recommend?
No
Do not buy this useless radio, it is not 8.33KHz compliant
I bought this radio as an 8.33KHz NAV/COM but when I tried to use it I found that it would not transmit on an 8.33 spaced frequency. This renders it utterly useless for any aviation purposes. The fact that it only transmits on the 25KHz spacing is not mentioned anywhere must mean that Sporty's are in violation of the trade descriptions act as they are selling something that is not for the purpose that it is intended for.
October 16, 2018
Response from Sporty's Pilot Shop
Sorry for the confusion, John. We do not advertise 8.33KHz spacing because we do not want to mislead pilots. We are not allowed (per the FCC) to sell a radio in the US that transmits on 8.33KHz spacing, so that is the reason for the limitation. We include the ability to receive on 8.33KHz as a bonus, but those frequencies are not used in the US.
November 12, 2018
John Zimmerman
Would You Recommend?
Yes
SP-400 Review
The SP-400 radio itself seems to be a good quality product, which I find not difficult to use. The manual supplied is clear and very useful for understanding functions which may not be obvious. I'm disappointed that the radio nor the Accessory Kit provided an AC Wall adapter or the high capacity rechargeable battery pack. Instead the Accessory pack included a 2nd hand strap (of questionable value for a new radio that comes with one), and a pack of alkaline batteries (which weren't even included with the battery pack of the new radio). I'd gladly forego the alkaline batteries, the spare strap, and even the 2nd battery case for something of real value for a new radio, like the recargable battery pack, or the AC Wall charger.
October 14, 2018
Purchased
1 month ago
Would You Recommend?
Yes
Sporty's SP-400 Handheld NAV/COM Aviation Radio
Clear ground checks - haven't exercised the Nav function in the air yet. Easy to use. Disappointed Sporty's description doesn't openly state that the Headset Adapter (part # 8635A for $26) is necessary because the device jacks are proprietary-sized. Had to place a 2nd order (and pay another shipping charge) to use a headset. Plastic device that the batteries fit into the back of the radio is pretty brittle - suspect it will be the first thing that breaks. Consider buying the $99 accessory kit if you buy this radio.
October 8, 2018
Purchased
1 month ago
Durability
4 / 5
Reliability
2 / 5
Performance
1 / 5
Ease Of Use
2 / 5
Value
1 / 5
Would You Recommend?
No
Too weak
After getting the SP-400, I called to get an IFR clearance before engine start, but clearance couldn't hear me well enough. Had to go the traditional route through the airplane COMs. Good for a scanner or maybe as a last-resort NORDO emergency, but not for routine pilot use.
September 22, 2018
Purchased
7 months ago
Durability
3 / 5
Reliability
4 / 5
Performance
4 / 5
Ease Of Use
3 / 5
Value
4 / 5
Not user friendly and batter pack click broke.
This radio is hard to set up. Works fine once the frequencie put in but I have a hard time getting it in. It will not pick up in a metal hanger. You have to be out side of your hanger. The batter clip that locks the battery in to the case broke off. I had to buy another battery pack.
September 9, 2018
Performance
2 / 5
Ease Of Use
1 / 5
Value
2 / 5
Would You Recommend?
No
Poor sound quality
Unit is easy to use but the sound quality is horrible. The first one I purchased did not work but Sportys replaced it quickly.
September 6, 2018
Purchased
2 months ago
Durability
4 / 5
Reliability
5 / 5
Performance
4 / 5
Ease Of Use
3 / 5
Value
3 / 5
Would You Recommend?
No
Not a bad unit.
Can be hard by Unicom approx 5 miles out from approx 3000 ft AGL using whip antenna from inside a 172. If you read the manual, it isn't hard to program, but it isn't intuitive either. Could be a lot easier to use. I cannot speak to durability but the case seems sturdy. I have not owned it long enough to speak as to reliability.

Speaker could be louder in the aircraft, but it works. Mic is clear and apparently noise cancelling enough.

The VOR function works well enough.

The unit is kind of clunky in feel, but it works as advertised. I cannot fathom why the designers didn't use 1/4 inch receptacles instead of 1/8 inch jacks, requiring an adapter cable. This is, after all, designed for airplanes, which use the larger plugs.

All in all, it is as advertised, if not as nice as I had hoped.

I will look at other units if I ever have to replace it, but so far, I am not uhappy.

In a No Comms situation situation, it will work as a backup.
August 29, 2018
Purchased
3 months ago
I wanted a portable com radio to use in a leased at602 ag plane. The unit worked on the ground at idle power, but in the air with engine and wind noise plus wearing ear plugs, I could hear other aircraft transmissions but not able to understand what was being said. The unit may be fine in a “people airplane” but I have not tried it in another airplane. I also did not try any nav function. Therefore I cannot make a proper recommendation, I can only say it did not work for me in a “crop duster”.
August 13, 2018
Purchased
3 months ago
not what I expected
July 30, 2018
Purchased
4 months ago
Question and Answer
Start typing your question and we'll check if it was already asked and answered. Learn More
Browse 34 questions Browse 34 questions and 59 answers
can it be hooked up to the airplanes antenna?
A shopper on Aug 11, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes, as long as the antenna lead has a female BNC type fitting, or a suitable adapter. I made a lead with BNC connectors at both ends and a suction cup mount that allows me to remotely mount the Rubber Duccky type antenna that comes with the unit just under the top of my canopy. This improved performance without adding any exterior drag.
Is the 5 year warranty transferable? SP-400
A shopper on Sep 1, 2016
BEST ANSWER: My Aeronca Chief has no radio or electrical system. Can this handheld be connected to a Sigtronics 2 place portable intercom? If so, what connector is required from the handheld to the intercom? Do you have them in stock as well as Sigtronics intercom extension cables to other side of cockpit so wiring can be semi permanently installed behind panel.
Is there a way to make it transmit on 8.33 spacing, even if at a cost to modify? That is what questions about using in Europe etc mean. Europe and the UK are changing to 8.33 spacing and this radio will soon have no use there unless it can be adapted to transmit on 8.33. Thanks ps Very annoying for us, but we have no choice.
mikeSutherland s on Jan 11, 2017
Does a new certified remote pilot need a license to use the SP-400 handheld transceiver? Beginning last Monday, some remote pilots would appreciate the use of a transceiver for the same short correct comms with ATC when inside or under controlled airspace just to advise ATC of their ID and location before and after takeoff, which is required in the authorization (usually) given days before. The alternative is to use the mobile phone, but that adds to the tower workload. This is being discussed in formums now.
A shopper on Sep 4, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Per current FCC rules, an FAA-licensed airplane automatically receives a radiotelephone station license, and a licensed pilot receives a radiotelephone operator's license to operate the radios in the plane. Neither a UAS (as the station) nor a remote pilot (as the operator) would appear to benefit from these dispensations. If you Google "airplane radio license" you'll find this info at the FCC website.
8.33 compatible ?
Cédric C on Dec 12, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I bought this radio since it says "8,33 MHz spacing" in the features in the Operator's Manual. In Sweden we now have 8,33 MHz spacing since Jan 1, 2018. I was flying this weekend to an airport with an 8,33 frequency and was convinced I had a radio (SP400) that would cope with that. It did not.
There is NOTHING in the Operator's Manual about "receive only" on 8,33 frequencies or in the specifications on the website as far as I can see.
Can you hook up a handheld mic/speaker to the sp400?
GliderPilot on Jul 24, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Although I don't have that setup, I would think if your plugs and jacks are standard that it would probably work. I purchased the adapters from Sporty's which plug into the SP400 and then allow you to plug in your headset. You now transmit using the PTT button on the SP400 and headset mic. The side tone generated allows you to hear your transmissions. Received communications are through the headset of course.
How far is the range on this unit...Please?!
A shopper on Sep 3, 2016
BEST ANSWER: According to the product manual, the transmit power is 5 watts at 85% modulation. For comparison, the transmit power of the common Bendix-King KX125 panel nav-com is 5 watts minimum, 7 watts nominal. Thus, range is potentially similar to that of a panel nav-com. The limiting factor is primarily the antenna and the shielding of the airframe, and the latter is specific to your airplane -- my results don't count.
Some of the comments indicate that the 400 eats a lot of batteries. Two points: Can it be plugged in a lighter plug to operate it and/or to recharge rechargables AA's or the Ni-Mah battery pack while in use? Thanks
Charles B on Sep 6, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes it can be plugged into the lighter for use and charging. However, for use as a backup, fully charged batteries will last long enough to get you down safely. That said, I plan on buying the Ni-Mah battery and desktop charger. For me, it adds just a little more peace of mind.
Is it ok to use longer life lithium AA batteries instead of alkaline batteries in this radio?
A shopper on Mar 2, 2018
BEST ANSWER: I have use all type of batterie. Including rechargeable AA. All works perfectly.
The printed catalog lists a '6-pin LEMO adapter.' Would I need to buy a LEMO adapter IN ADDITION to the regular 'radio-to-headset adapter', or can I substitute one for the other? IOW, can the LEMO adapter plug directly into the SP-400?
Bruce W on Nov 16, 2017
Sporty's SP-400 Handheld NAV/COM Aviation Radio
Sporty's SP-400 Handheld NAV/COM Aviation Radio
Headset Adapter (for all Sporty's Radios)
Headset Adapter (for all Sporty's Radios)
BEST ANSWER: The LEMO adapter will not plug directly into the SP-400. You would need to go from the LEMO to GA adapter then the GA to SP-400 adapter.
I just tuned it to Cincinnati Approach from home, but can't hear anything; is this normal?
A shopper on Oct 13, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes this is normal most of the time unless you are at or very close to the airport. My SP 400 is the same and only picks up traffic close to me, but picks up fine and works quite well once airborne. If you get the SP400 in the air and see no change you should call sportys for an exchange.
What does it come with?
David S on Apr 30, 2017
BEST ANSWER: It comes with transceiver unit, strap, and antenna. There is separate order if you like all connectors or rechargeable Li ion battery pack.
my son is a pilot wants two way hand held radio in case his radio in airplane fails. is this what he needs?
A shopper on Dec 3, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes, this is a good choice. With the Sporty's Headset adapter (P/N 8635A - $26) he can plug directly into his headset
Controllers including Clearance, Ground and Tower all say same thing, transmission is scratchy but understandable. Did I just get a bad radio as others have said they did? Or is there an adjustment to clean it up and make it useful?
Jeff G on Sep 16, 2018
BEST ANSWER: depending on the A/C (fabric or metal) , an outside antenna may do wonders. If you have another radio in yr A/C, then use a splitter in the antenna to feed your SP-400. I'm very happy with mine, EXCEPT that it draws current even switched off; so after a few weeks you will have dead batteries even if you did not use yr SP400.
Is this dual band, meaning can it do Nav & Com at the same time? If not how easy is it to switch back and forth between the two?
Kevin C on Jun 17, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Switching between the frequencies is quite easy, however. Simply tune the first frequency (i.e. COM) and then tune in the second (NAV in your case). Now you just use the Last Frequency button on the side to toggle between the two frequencies.
Will this radio power a ANR headset like a Bose A20?
Bruce W on Nov 16, 2017
BEST ANSWER: The Bose A20 get power for ANR from its own batteries, not from the radio, so there would be no issue. You will however need an adapter to go from the ports on the radio to a standard aviation headset. Sporty's carries that part as well.
May I use the sp400 in Europe/ Netherlands/Germany?
thijshe on Nov 25, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Why not? Whats matter , is that ' if you have a rádio qualification for air-air or air-atc' transmitions!
I'm considering this SP-400 and find the battery comments discouraging. Could it be the peak current drain during transmitting damaging the fragile Alkaline battery chemistry? Has anyone used Lithium primary (non-rechargeable) cells in this radio? If it kills batteries while NOT in-use, it would be a worthless device.
A shopper on Oct 5, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I bought this handheld and put in high dollar camera batteries ( I never trust rechargeables) I pull it out and listen to the atis every prior to every flight and now and then give it a transmit radio check with ground cont.
Works like it should... I read folks whining that they left it fallow for a long time and it was dead when they needed it.... If you are relying on a piece of hardware (that runs on batteries) best to check it....
"dig you well before your thirsty"
If I buy the SP-400 and the recommended $99 accessory kit, will I need anything else?
Sigmund on Nov 6, 2018
BEST ANSWER: No, there would be nothing to buy unless you wanted a Rechargeable Battery.
Do you still have manual for SP 200 series?
Glenn D on Nov 3, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Yes, please go to https://www.sportys.com/pilotshop/manuals
Does the SP-400's cigarette lighter adapter work with 28 volts?
A shopper on Oct 12, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Yes, it will work with a 28-volt system.
Is this model water resistant? (so that it can be suitable for a survival vest / ditch bag)
danpass on Jul 16, 2018
BEST ANSWER: No, this item is not water resistant
The memory scan function on this radio stops when it receives signal. Is it possible to have it automatically continue to scan after it stops receiving? want to continuously monitor 3 frequencies
Jason on Jul 3, 2018
BEST ANSWER: No, it will not automatically continue to scan. The scan is to locate frequencies.
Im thinking of buying this as a gift for someone who would love to just listen in to aircraft radio transmissions. Is this the right radio? - Australia
A shopper on May 26, 2018
BEST ANSWER: I would recommend one of the communication only radios. Icom A14 would be my choice for a communication only radio.
Is there a compatible earpiece/lapel mic that will work with this radio?
Dan T on Oct 14, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Yes, you can atttach your headset to it with the adapter.
What is the size of the screen?
David B on Oct 3, 2017
BEST ANSWER: The screen measures 1 11/16th inches x 1 11/16th inches.
Does it have a scan feature to listen to multiple frequencies?
Ed A on Aug 28, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Yes it has a memory scan feature.
Does my headset plug in?
A shopper on May 22, 2017
BEST ANSWER: If you would like to use this with your headset you will need the adapter, item 8635A.
Hey can it pick up like csx?
A shopper on Apr 5, 2017
BEST ANSWER: This radio will only receive aviation communications and navigation frequencies.
How many watts output ?
A shopper on Mar 27, 2017
BEST ANSWER: 5 watts.
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